Center Stage Jackson announces 2020-21 season

The season will start in the fall with a new Main Stage musical, Something Rotten! (Book by Karey Kirpatrick and John O’Farrell, Music and Lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, conceived by Karey Kirkpatric and Wayne Kirkpatrick). Set in the 1590s, brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rock star known as “The Bard.” When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. But amidst the scandalous excitement of opening night, the Bottom Brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to thine own self, and all that jazz. Six performances are currently planned for October 16-18 and October 23-25, 2020 at Jackson College’s Potter Center.

Immediately following will be the Youth Theater play, The Enchanted Bookshop (by Todd Wallinger). During the day, A Likely Story may look like any other used bookstore. But at night, it’s a place where magic happens. That’s when the characters inside the books come alive! Six of those characters long to help the scatterbrained owner save her struggling store. But they’re not allowed to leave the building or be seen by human eyes. So when a pair of smugglers comes looking for a stolen necklace hidden inside one of the books, the characters are torn. Should they warn Margie and risk disappearing forever? Or can they find a way to defeat the crooks without being seen? This Youth Theater Play will be held at Jackson’s First Presbyterian Church November 20, 21, and 22, 2020.

Rolling into the new year, the dinner theatre production will be Brian D. Taylor’s Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery. The players at The Murder Mystery Playhouse are rehearsing a new show, “Putting a Little English On It.” It’s a not-so-good attempt at a British murder mystery, complete with cheesy dramatic music and British accents. As expected at the final dress rehearsal, the lights go out and a character dies onstage — only this murder wasn’t in the script! The cast finds themselves replaying the same scene over and over and actors are left scratching their heads at the strange circumstances while worried that they could be next. It all culminates in a wild surprise ending in which the actors must work together to defeat the murderer before he murders them all. Nine limited-seating dinner theater performances will be held February 19-21, 26-28, and March 5-7, 2021 at the Sandhill Crane Vineyards.

The spring Youth Theater musical will be Jungle Book (written by Vera Morris, adapted from the “Mowgli” stories of Rudyard Kipling). Come hear the incredible tale of Mowgli, a young boy raised by wolves. With the help of his animal friends, Mowgli learns the ways of the jungle. Some of the jungle boy’s adventures are gripping, some hysterical. But the jungle is also dangerous, for it is the home of Shere Khan, the man-eating tiger who has vowed to destroy Mowgli. The boy must use all his strength and courage to stop Shere Khan before it is too late. This Youth Theater Musical is planned for March 2021 at the Middle School at Parkside’s Kiesel Auditorium. Dates are to be determined and dependent on the status of Jackson Public Schools in Spring 2021.

Following last season’s dinner cabaret cancellation, we will once again be holding a Dinner Cabaret at the Sandhill Crane Vineyards with six performances over two weekends: April 9-11 and 16-18, 2021. Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, this cabaret may be directed by and cast with the team from 2020. However, if restrictions allow, we may hold two cabaret events this Season!

Originally scheduled for June 2020, the 2021 summer Main Stage Musical will be The Wizard of Oz (written by L. Frank Baum, with Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg, Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard, Orchestration by Larry Wilcox, Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakepeare Company, based on the classic motion picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.). This beloved tale, in which a Kansas farm girl travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home, has been entertaining audiences for generations! Six performances will be held June 4-6 and 11-13, 2021 at Jackson College’s Potter Center.

Other season events to look forward to include the 12th Youth Singing Competition in January and various selections from the Reader’s Theatre Series, dates to be announced.

Center Stage Jackson is keeping a close eye on venue and safety circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and will postpone or alter events appropriately as new information becomes available.

All persons interested in directing Something Rotten!Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery, or working with the Youth Theater program are encouraged to contact Katie Meyers before June 15, 2020 for more information or to schedule an interview. Experience is not required, and more information on how to prepare for interviews will be provided after inquiry.

Contact: Administrative Director Katie Meyers at admin@centerstagejackson.org or (517) 539-4118.